Sweet! Inaugural Arab SugarFest this Saturday, Aug. 31

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Photo courtesy of Arab SugarFest

ARAB, Ala. – Things are about to get sweet in Arab. The inaugural SugarFest is coming up this Saturday, Aug. 31 at Arab City Park.

City of Arab Economic Development Director Melissa Cook shared, “While it may appear to be a City event, it is really City-supported. There is a steering committee comprised of 15 citizens from industry to insurance and all things in between who came together to make SugarFest a reality.

“It began with the idea of doing a fireworks show. We discussed the 4th of July, but there were others in our area that already did large shows and we didn’t want to compete. So, we looked to another significant date and decided on sending the summer out with a bang (literally). After deciding on a date, we started to talk about other events that we could piggyback on the day. It grew and grew and here we are.”

Cook said the hope is to make SugarFest an annual event.

“This is the inaugural SugarFest, but we plan to make it an annual event. I am sure we will learn lots from the day, but that is typical of any event. If you’re not making it better, it isn’t worth doing. We expect to make a day you will be talking about for weeks.”

The event is free to attend. There will be food trucks and vendors on hand selling food.

Saturday’s festivities will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the Sugar Rush 5K sponsored by Citizens Bank and Trust.

Cook shared, “We have a certified course that begins at the entrance to Arab City Park.”

There are eight different age divisions. The fee to enter is $25.

Beginning at 8 a.m. will be the Sweet Rides Car Show, sponsored by Austin Hinds Motors. It concludes at 2 p.m. with awards for “Best in Show” for each car type/age group. The fee to enter the show is $10.

The Miss SugarFest Beauty Pageant will start at 9 a.m. There are six different age groups, from birth to 12 years.

The Arts and Crafts Marketplace with food trucks is scheduled from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. with approximately 62 arts and crafts vendors for the juried show and about 15 food trucks offering everything from root beer floats to delicious barbecue.

Also at 10 a.m., the Sweetie Pies Children’s Area, sponsored by Desperation Church, will open. Organizers promise lots of games, rides and events for kids of all ages. There will be a petting zoo complete with miniature animals to cuddle and a unicorn available for pictures for $5.

The Sugah’ Bakers Cake and Sugar Cookies Cookie Decoration Contest begins at noon with several age groups and some great prizes for the winners.

Live music will be going on throughout the day, and guests can peruse the Dukes of Hazard rolling museum, complete with the General Lee, Boss Hogg and Daisy Duke replica cars.

And football fans, organizers have not forgotten you.

“We do understand that there are football games on all day,” said Cook, “so we have a lounge featuring two 65-inch TVs with seating and misting fans to beat the heat.”

At approximately 9 p.m., the Fireworks Spectacular, sponsored by Whitaker Contracting, will light up the sky.

“East Coast Pyrotechnics, out of North Carolina, is our provider. They are the choice for the Atlanta Braves, so we are so fortunate that we were able to secure them,” said Cook.

Immediately following the fireworks, the day will conclude with Movies in the Park, which will feature the film “I Can Only Imagine.”

“These events and so much more make an entire day of fun,” smiled Cook. “The entire event is presented by Jerry Damson Ford. We are so grateful to all of our sponsors who are making this event possible. Come out and join us. We look forward to a Sweet Adventure!”

SugarFest will take place at Arab City Park, 844 Shoal Creek Trail NE, Arab, AL 35016. From Cullman, take Alabama Highway 69 North to Arab, turn left at Main Street and turn right on Shoal Creek Trail NE.

Find out more at www.thesugarfest.com.

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Maggie Darnell

maggie@cullmantribune.com